Established by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1873, the Mount was one of the few institutions of higher education for women in Canada at a time when women could not vote. The original purpose of the academy was to train novices and young sisters as teachers, but the Sisters also recognized a need to educate other young women.
By 1914, they had partnered with Dalhousie University to provide a 2 year program that was recognized as credit towards a bachelor’s degree. In 1925, they became the only degree granting independent women’s university in the British Commonwealth. Currently, the faculty and students at the Mount consist of all genders, however, their is still a primary focus on women.
Mount Saint Vincent University is also home to the Centre for Women in Business, a not-for-profit university business development centre (UBDC), dedicated to assisting with entrepreneurial activities both within the university and throughout Nova Scotia.
Founded in 1992 by the University’s Department of Business & Tourism, this remains the only UBDC in Canada with a primary focus on women. The Centre served more than 7500 clients over the past 18 years.
Located on campus, the Centre is a well-utilized resource offering practical, results-oriented programs and services including business advice, training and networking opportunities. Business management training, one-to-one business advice, networking and a membership program are among the opportunities the Centre offers to develop and support women-owned enterprises. The Centre’s membership program has 300+ members.
Even after all this, a recent campaign at the Mount to honour women with a virtual wall celebrating their achievements. While well intentioned, has gone off the rails. Here is a picture of the billboard that greets travellers on Barrington St, one of the primary routes into the City of Halifax.
The University claims they are marketing to men as the demographic that they hope will donate. I guess they don’t expect the women they have educated and helped to give much.
In the pictures of Where’s Waldo, Waldo appears somewhere on every page; in the billboard game of Where’s the Woman, she is nowhere at all.